Saturday, September 10, 2011

Crosstown Traffic

And it started out so well. Wasn't even really supposed to get in the studio yesterday, but my wife's work was cancelled, and she very generously offered to take the kids and let me get into the studio. Lovely. She was gone in the morning, but I managed to get the second part of a mold poured while the baby took his morning nap. Always dicey pouring a mold with a baby asleep in the house, because once you start mixing, you're committed. If we wakes up wailing, well, he's just got to wait. And of course he did wake up the instant the catalyst hit the mix, but just gurgled and cooed until it was all done. Perfect boy.

Since finishing the mold for the upper half of the fencing lady, I've been scrupulously not thinking too much about the bottom. I brought a pad on vacation, and I started to design it, but that kind of decorative work is not really my style, and it was hard to get too enthusiastic about it, because I know how much plans tend to change upon contact with reality, so I put it on the back burner, and let it percolate. A couple of days ago, the mysterious background mental processes were apparently complete, because I suddenly understood how to get started. All I would need is a couple of sheets of pink foam (the sculptor's friend) and some thick rope. All of which I was able to get this morning at Home Depot.

With my new purchases in hand, I rushed home, and made a quick fiberglass and FGR casting of fencer's pelvis, where she'll connect to the skirt. Even built in some hanging hardware so I could attach her to the wall. So far so good. Waiting for the casting to dry, I cleaned out the studio a bit, and made the first casts of the rabbit and the arrows for the small piece. They look good, and with the mold setting up for the briar patch, I'm feeling very close to seeing the whole vision come together.

With all that accomplished, I turn my attention back to the fiberglass casting, which has set up, and pulls beautifully. Again, everything going according to plan. Then I screw the pelvis casting to the workspace, and sketch out the dimensions of skirt. And then I have to stop.

Because the more I look at it, the more clear it is that I can't just work from the pelvis. I mean, I could, but it feels like a ridiculous risk. What if I've got the pelvis tilted slightly, and it ends up making the center of gravity look weird. Or, more likely, what if I end up working out the skirt, and it looks good with the pelvis, but wrong with the whole body. Very quickly it becomes clear to me that the smart thing do is to wait until I have a full cast, and work from there. Two problems with that. First, by this point it's 3:15, and there's no way I can make a whole cast before the end of the day. Second, if I'm going to go to the trouble of making a whole cast, I might as well go all the way, and make a final. Of course that will take more time, and may involve more material, but it's probably the smart move in the long run. Which is fine, except that it means there's nothing I can practically do about it today, which means my momentum grinds to a halt and I spend the next hour frustratedly cleaning out the studio.

Then, last night, after the kids are in bed, I head out to check the silicone mold of briar patch and the two sides have completely bonded together! What the hell? I was so sure silicone didn't stick to silicone that it didn't even occur to me to use a mold release. The original positive still looks pretty good, and thank god it does, because that's where I'm headed - two steps back and starting over.

I have pictures of all of this, and I'll post them if I can, but the camera suddenly decided to stop downloading, so you'll have to use your imagination. That's OK, you know what it looks like. It looks like traffic when you're in a hurry.

Probably not very illuminating, but there you go.

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